December 31, 1837, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

April 10, 1899, Chester, Pennsylvania.

Rural Cemetery, Chester, Pennsylvania.


Sweney’s musical gift showed itself at an early age. While still a boy, he began to teach music in the public schools and lead Sunday school performances. At age 19, he started studying music in earnest under Professor Bauer, a celebrated German teacher. He took violin and piano lessons, and about this time became a choir leader. He was also in constant demand for children’s concerts and for conducting glee clubs.

At age 22, Sweney was called to teach in Dover, Delaware. When the American civil war broke out, he took charge of the band of the Third Delaware Regiment. After the war, Sweney became Professor of Music at the Pennsylvania Military Academy in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He worked there over 25 years, and received the degrees of Bachelor of Music (1876) and Doctor of Music (1886).

Sweney composed music for more than 1,000 Gospel songs, and collaborated on many collections. His works include:

  1. Sing On
  1. Adopted
  2. All Glory Be Thine
  3. All Is Ready
  4. Almost
  5. As the Bird Flies Home
  6. At the Breaking of the Day
  7. Awake! Awake!
  8. Awake, Awake! O Heart of Mine!
  9. Awake, O Zion’s Daughter
  10. Balm in Secret Prayer
  11. Bells Are Calling, The
  12. Berkeley
  13. Bermuda
  14. Beulah Land
  15. Blest, Blest Forever
  16. Blood Is All My Plea, The
  17. Bratislava
  18. Break Forth, O Joyful Heart
  19. By and By
  20. By the Grace of God We’ll Meet
  21. Calvary
  22. Close Thy Heart No More
  23. Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace
  24. Come in, O Blessèd One
  25. Coming to Jesus
  26. Conquering Now and Still to Conquer
  27. Côte d’Ivoire
  28. Cova da Iria
  29. Dragicevic
  30. Endure to the End
  31. Everlasting Song, The
  32. Fairer Than the Morning
  33. Falter Not
  34. Fill Me Now
  35. From the Cross to the Crown
  36. Glamorganshire
  37. Glory
  38. Go Work in the Vineyard
  39. God’s Holy Church Shall Triumph
  40. Going Home Rejoicing
  41. Golden Key
  42. Good News
  43. Great Judgment Day, The
  44. Guatemala
  45. Hamsher High
  46. Handful of Leaves, A
  47. Happy Tidings
  48. Have Compassion, Lord, on Me!
  49. He Feedeth His Flock
  50. He Has Come
  51. He Saves Me
  52. He Saves Me Through and Through
  53. He Set the Joy-Bells Ringing
  54. He Will Gather the Wheat
  55. Hillsdale
  56. Hilton Head
  57. His Child Forevermore
  58. His Love Passeth Knowledge
  59. Holy, Holy, Is What the Angels Sing
  60. Hour of Prayer, The
  61. How Oft We Are There
  62. I Have a Friend
  63. I Have Entered Beulah Land
  64. I Live but in Thee
  65. I Shall Have Wings
  66. I Will Shout His Praise in Glory
  67. In the Morning
  68. Is It Nothing to You?
  69. It Is Good to Be Here
  70. Jesus Is Passing By
  71. Jesus, Keep Me Near Thee
  72. Jesus Leads
  73. Jesus Will Welcome Me There
  74. Joyfully Sing
  75. King’s Highway, The
  76. Knock of the Nail-Piercèd Hand, The
  77. Lake Tahoe
  78. Launch Out
  79. Lost Are Coming Home, The
  80. Lost but Found
  81. Medan
  82. Midnight Cry, The
  83. More About Jesus
  84. Morning Draweth Nigh, The
  85. Music of the Angels
  86. My Rest
  87. My Savior First of All
  88. My Soul Shouts Glory
  89. New Song, The
  90. No Cross for Me?
  91. No Voice but Thine
  92. Not Now, but By and By
  93. Notre Dame
  94. O Blessèd Word
  95. O Church of God, Arise!
  96. O Fly to Him
  97. O Sinner, Come Home
  98. On Let Us Go
  99. On the Hallelujah Line
  100. Only a Beam of Sunshine
  101. Only Once You Pass This Way
  102. Onward, Ye Pilgrims
  103. Out in the Sunshine
  104. Out on the Desert
  105. Peace to My Soul
  106. Petersburg
  107. Phares
  108. Phinehas
  109. Praise and Magnify Our King
  110. Praise, Praise His Name
  111. Precious Moments
  112. Press On, Press On, Ye Workers
  113. Rainbow Round the Throne, The
  114. Redeemed, and with the Price of Blood
  115. Rest By and By
  116. Revive the Hearts of All
  117. Rock in the Desert
  118. Room for the World
  119. Safe in the Glory Land
  120. Savior with Me, The
  121. Schindler
  122. Seek Ye First
  123. Send Out the Sunlight
  124. Shanghai
  125. Shepherd’s Fold on High, The
  126. Shining for Jesus
  127. Shout in the Camp, A
  128. Show Me the Rock
  129. Showers of Blessing
  130. Simple, Earnest Prayer, The
  131. Since I Found My Savior
  132. Sing Once More of Jesus
  133. Singing of Jesus
  134. Smile from Jesus, A
  135. Some Heart Has Gone This Way Before
  136. Speak for Jesus
  137. Sunshine in the Soul
  138. Standing on the Battlements
  139. Step into the Fountain
  140. Sweet Assurance
  141. Sweet Story of Jesus
  142. Take Courage
  143. Take the World, but Give Me Jesus
  144. Tell It Out with Gladness
  145. Tell Me the Story of Jesus
  146. Tell the Blessèd Story
  147. Tell the Whole Wide World
  148. There’s a Blessing at the Cross for Me
  149. There’s a Hand Held Out
  150. There’s a Message from the Lord
  151. Thou Wilt Remember Me
  152. Thy Hope for Eternity
  153. Till the Boat Comes By
  154. ’Tis Summer in My Heart
  155. Uganda
  156. Unsearchable Riches
  157. Wait on the Lord
  158. Waiting for Me
  159. Waiting for the Promise
  160. Walking in the Good Old Way
  161. Walking with Jesus My Lord
  162. Washed White as Snow
  163. We All Can Do Good
  164. We Are Nearing
  165. What More Can He Do?
  166. When Each Others Face We See
  167. When Our Ships Come Sailing Home
  168. While the Years Are Rolling On
  169. Will There Be Any Stars?
  170. Will You Come?